What is The Glenholme School? An Interview with Lisa Berman

What is The Glenholme School?

It's always great to discover another wonderful placement for my clients. I had the chance to speak with Lisa Berman, Director of Marketing and Community Outreach, at The Glenholme School. The Glenholme School is a therapeutic residential and day program in Washington, Connecticut. Serving 10-21-year-olds on 110 acres of pristine property, The Glenholme School is able to offer a variety of therapeutic and athletic activities, while also providing a setting that grounds, calms, and relaxes.  

Lisa shared that the Glenholme program is built on the following pillars: kindness, respect, responsibility, honesty, and fairness. These pillars guide their program and promote the supportive and nurturing environment that allows students to heal, feel safe, to belong, and to grow. 

Who does best at The Glenholme School?

Students who do well in The Glenholme School program have average to above-average intelligence with learning disabilities and have another diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), depression, and/or anxiety (and other anxiety-based disorders such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Tourette's). Many students arrive at The Glenholme School after being bullied, after school refusal(s), and after feeling like they have not belonged anywhere. Lisa called these students "fragile" or filled with angst, and these are the students that are healed and bolstered by Glenholme's program. 

What does it mean to be a therapeutic residential program? 

Therapeutic residential programs are thoughtfully created living environments that provide treatment, education, socialization, support, and protection for individuals with mental health or behavioral needs. At The Glenholme School, every student has a team that includes an assigned clinician and social worker. The program is in-the-moment and behavioral, using phases that carefully offer more and more privileges as students build more and more skills. Two consulting psychiatrists help students with medication management, while staff assists with medical scheduling and compliance. Glenholme's treatment approach is supportive, nurturing, and positive.

With a ratio of 80 students to 128 staff, students at Glenholme are well-supported. Classrooms are comprised of 8-10 students with 1 teacher and 1 teacher's assistant, while the transition program runs groups of 15 students with 2 staff members. If students live at Glenholme, they are separated into cottages (8-10 students) and can move into apartments as they age. All residential services are provided on the Glenholme campus. 

Glenholme offers a variety of opportunities that facilitate introspection and emotional expression. Therapies include movement (yoga, dance, ropes course), art (visual, performance), music, and equine (cleaning and riding). Glenholme also offers athletic development and opportunities to compete in soccer, softball, and tennis. As Lisa puts it, therapy is happening all the time. 

Eyes on the future

Since my specialty is in supporting teens and adults, I very interested in Glenholme's E3 Transitions! Program. This young adult program serves individuals who are 18-22-years-old and helps students strengthen their independence, set realistic life goals, and apply daily living and vocational skills in the commons (on campus) or the "hub," which is in the city.

This hands-on program helps young adults prepare themselves to take their next steps into adult living. The goal of this program is to help young adults feel more confident and positive. This program is skills-focused, hands-on, and applied. The transition program's curriculum includes independent living, executive function, personal finance, career readiness, interpersonal dynamics, personal health and wellness, and life skills. Basically, Glenholme covers all areas of preparing a young adult for life. 

Check out my interview with Lisa for more juicy bits and to discover if this program is right for you or someone you know and love. A big thanks to Lisa for spending time with me and helping us know about The Glenholme School! 

To find out more about The Glenholme School, check out their website at https://theglenholmeschool.org/ 


Let's do this!